June 10, 2020
Listening, Learning and Advocating for the Diverse Communities We Serve
At EveryStep our mission is more relevant than ever: We empower individuals, support families and strengthen communities.
Empower, support, strengthen…these are action words, and as a non-profit health care and human services organization, we are compelled to take action and do good work every day.
We try to help the people we serve feel safe, supported and cared for – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The death of George Floyd – and so many before him - and the protests that followed demonstrate that there is so much more to learn, and so much more work to be done.
We know that real change can only happen with open dialogue, open hearts and open minds. We will continue to seek wisdom from the diverse communities we serve and learn from the many cultures our staff represent, so we can better advocate for those who need us most.
Some of the immediate actions our organization is taking include:
- Establish a Diversity Committee. At EveryStep, we pride ourselves on the diversity of cultures and ideas our staff represent. It’s that mix of perspectives and a common empathetic approach that enable EveryStep staff to collaborate effectively and address complex problems. We are excited to channel that energy into a group of passionate employees who will help us identify ways we can become better employees and better people.
- Strengthen our staff training and education. We will identify and add new types of educational experiences for our staff on topics like cultural diversity and implicit bias. We will offer different ways for people to learn – such as online experiences, forums, and discussions.
- Facilitate conversation. We want to do more to encourage open and respectful conversation, and we are inviting ideas from our staff. Some ideas include offering a book club exploring race relations, offering activities exploring privilege via staff online meetings or at our employee retreat, facilitating story-sharing from people of color we employ, and providing opportunities for staff to explore their own biases and be vulnerable to candid conversations.
- Show our support. Finally, we are identifying opportunities to align EveryStep’s non-profit mission with public shows of support – whether it’s through our time, presence, legislative support, or lending our voice.
This is just a start. We acknowledge that there is much more work to be done. EveryStep is committed to listening, learning and advocating for our employees, clients and communities.
Let me know when you see opportunities for EveryStep to improve for the people we serve and for each other, so we can continue to live up to the promise of our mission.